KENOSHA, Wis. – The Kenosha Kingfish (20-11) defeated the Rockford Rivets (16-14) in the first of two scheduled 7-inning games on Friday by a score of 6-3. Game two, which was intended to be a make-up of Thursday’s rain-out in Rockford, was again postponed because of rain.
Kingfish starter Michael Costanzo (Austin Peay) began the game looking as strong as he could, striking out the first two hitters on a combined eight pitches. The third out didn’t come nearly as easy, however, as center fielder Bren Spillane stepped to the plate and crushed a solo home run to left field for the game’s first run.
Kenosha got its first scoring opportunity in the bottom of the second inning, and turned it into an all-out offensive assault. First baseman Derek Bangert (Bradley) was hit by the first pitch of the inning, and was followed on base by designated hitter Coll Stanley (Texas A&M), who walked in his first plate appearance of the summer.
Third baseman Tim Millard (Dallas Baptist) and right fielder Mike Madej (Purdue) followed with back-to-back doubles, resulting in three Kingfish runs. Center fielder Connor Doyle (University of San Diego) drove in another run with a fielder’s choice three batters later, and the Kingfish left the second inning with a 4-1 advantage.
The bats kept coming in the same part of the order for Kenosha in the third inning, with Stanley landing his first hit of the summer with a two-out double to left field. Rockford starting pitcher Jeff Granath (Davenport) tried to sneak the next pitch past Millard, but the third baseman jumped on it and pulled a homer to left for this second and third RBI’s of the night, extending the lead to 6-1.
Costanzo, meanwhile, dealt a dominating performance for the better part of five innings, not allowing baserunners to really stack up against him until the fifth inning, when the Rivets scored twice on two hits and a walk. His final line for the evening was five innings pitched with three runs allowed on five hits, two walks and seven strikeouts.
Right-handers Austin Paisar (Eastern New Mexico) and Billy McKay (Florida) combined to shut out the Rivets over the final two innings, with Paisar’s 1.2 innings of work coming in his Kenosha debut.
The middle of the order dominated this game for Kenosha, with Madej and Millard each finishing 2-for-3 with a combined five runs driven in and three runs scored. Stanley went 1-for-2 with a walk and two runs scored, and Bangert reached twice on a hit by pitch and a walk while scoring once. The top three hitters in the order finished 0-for-8, with Connor Doyle pitching in with an RBI.
Friday’s second game will be made up as part of a doubleheader on August 7th in Kenosha. The Kingfish will see their next action on Saturday in Madison, and will welcome Madison back to Historic Simmons Field on Sunday at 6:05p.m. Sunday’s game will be followed by Miller Lite fireworks, and feature a petting zoo.
The Kenosha Kingfish are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. The 23-year-old summer collegiate league is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 20 teams, drawing significantly more fans, in a friendly ballpark experience, than any league of its kind. A valuable training ground for coaches, umpires and front office staff, more than 170 former Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including two-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (WAS), two-time World Series Champion Ben Zobrist (CHC) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (BOS), Jordan Zimmermann (DET), Curtis Granderson (NYM) and Lucas Duda (NYM). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League portal. For more information, visit www.kingfishbaseball.com or download the new Northwoods League Mobile App on the Apple App Store or on Google Play and set the Kingfish as your favorite team.